Mexican authorities have found a body that they believe to be that of journalist Anabel Flores Salazar near the municipality of Tehuacan, just nine miles from the border between the Puebla and her home state of Veracruz. She was abducted on Monday when armed men broke into her house around 2 a.m., claiming to have a warrant for her arrest, as Reporters Without Borders described in a press release.
At the breaking of this story, the identities of her murderers remain unknown, according to the Mexican publication Proceso.
Flores Salazar was working as a freelance reporter and journalist covering crime and policing in the region, including investigations of the notorious Zetas drug cartel. The State Commission for Care and Protection of Journalists (CEAPP) said in a statement that the system for locating missing media personnel was activated immediately after hearing of the abduction, two hours after its occurrence.
"The search and rescue protocol was launched as soon as her relatives reported what had happened," Benita González, president of the state commission in charge of protecting journalists in Veracruz, told Vice News on Monday.
State authorities have been criticized for not effectively investigating attacks against journalists in the region, and for often hinting that the victims were in some way complicit or responsible, as Vice reports. The CEAPP's statement said that it would investigate "all the possible links of the reporter" to organized crime, mentioning an alleged meeting that Flores had in August 2014 with a suspected drug trafficker who was later arrested.
Flores Salazar's colleagues at the daily El Buen Tono also received phone calls on Monday from people claiming to be members of the Zetas cartel, threatening to burn down the newspaper's office in reprisal for some of its stories, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune. State police are now monitoring the office.
With her death, Anabel Flores Salazar joins at least 15 journalists who have been killed in the state of Veracruz since 2010. Veracruz is one of the most dangerous states in Mexico for members of the media, according to the BBC. Nationwide, 88 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2000.